History Surfaces with Removal of Savage Rapids Dam

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Robert Hamilton, (208) 378-5087

For Release: November 12, 2009

When Savage Rapids Dam was removed in early October, most people thought that was the end of the story and the beginning of a new era for the Rogue River, but the story didn't end completely as engineers recently discovered the remains of another dam upstream from the former dam site.

The timber and rock structure was under nearly 10 feet of sediment about 150 feet upstream of the former Savage Rapids Dam site. Engineers suspect that the structure is part of a coffer dam used during the construction of Savage Rapids Dam around 1921. The remains were exposed as the Rogue River eroded sediment following the removal of Savage Rapids Dam.

Bureau of Reclamation officials are warning the public to exercise caution if they plan to float or recreate in that section of the Rogue River.

"This could be hazardous to rafters and boaters and we strongly recommend that recreationists stay away from the area as well as the remaining sediment bars," said Don Rosbaugh, Reclamation Civil Engineer.

Reclamation is currently evaluating the potential of removing the structure, but until those decisions are made, the public is advised to avoid the area.

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